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Allen, Alexander Viets Griswold (04 May 1841–01 July 1908), Episcopal priest, theologian, and educator, was born in Otis, Massachusetts, the son of Ethan Allen, a teacher and Episcopal priest, and Lydia Child Burr. His father served churches in Massachusetts and Vermont. Both parents were strongly evangelical in the Episcopal manner of the time, emphasizing biblical authority and teaching more than sacramental theology—a conviction that produced conflict in several of the churches that Allen’s father served. Their piety shaped Allen’s early views, leading him to enroll at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, in 1859. Kenyon was an Episcopal institution then of an evangelical stamp. An excellent student, Allen delivered the valedictory address upon graduating in 1862 and immediately entered Bexley Hall, a theological seminary in Gambier....

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Auchmuty, Samuel (16 January 1722–04 March 1777), Episcopal minister and Loyalist, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Scottish-born Robert Auchmuty, a judge of admiralty in Massachusetts, and Mary Julianna. He would have been a graduate in the Harvard class of 1742 but dropped out during his junior year. At the encouragement of his uncle, James Auchmuty, dean of Armagh, Samuel prepared for holy orders by reading under the direction of the Reverend Alexander Malcolm of St. Michael’s Church in Marblehead and the Reverend Benjamin Bradstreet of Gloucester. Based on the recommendation of these two ministers as to Samuel’s character and learning, Harvard awarded him his B.A. in 1745 and his M.A. in 1746....

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Ayres, Anne (03 January 1816–09 February 1896), founder of the first Episcopal women's religious order, founder of the first Episcopal women’s religious order, was born in London, England, the daughter of Robert Ayres and Anne (maiden name unknown). She emigrated in 1836 with her mother to the United States and settled in New York City on the lower west side of Manhattan....

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Blake, John Lauris (21 December 1788–06 July 1857), clergyman and author, was born in Northwood, New Hampshire, the son of Jonathan Blake and Mary Dow, substantial farmers. An eager student, he attended Phillips Exeter Academy and graduated from Brown University in 1812. The following year he was licensed as a Congregational minister, but shortly thereafter he transferred to the Episcopal church. In 1814 Blake married Louisa Gray Richmond. He fathered one child, but his wife died a year and a half later. In December 1816 he married Mary Howe, by whom he had three children. Ordained as a deacon in 1815, Blake established St. Paul’s parish in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, serving as rector for five years. He later acted as rector in Hopkinton and Concord, New Hampshire. At Concord, Blake founded the Young Ladies’ School, which he moved to Boston in 1822 when he became rector of St. Matthew’s Church. In addition to his position as principal of the school, which he held until 1830, Blake served as editor of the ...

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Bliss, William Dwight Porter (20 August 1856–08 October 1926), clergyman and reformer, was born in Constantinople (now Istanbul), the son of Edwin Elisha Bliss and Isabella Holmes Porter, Congregationalist missionaries from New England. A graduate of Amherst College (1878) and the Hartford Theological Seminary (1882), he served Congregational churches in Denver, Colorado, and South Natick, Massachusetts, from 1882 until 1885. In 1884 he married Mary Pangalo of Constantinople; they had two children....

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Brady, Cyrus Townsend (20 December 1861–24 January 1920), Episcopal clergyman and author, was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the son of Jasper Ewing Brady, Jr., a banker and accountant, and Harriet Cora Townsend. He grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas, and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1883. Brady married Clarissa Sidney Guthrie in 1884; they had three children. After three years of naval service, he became a railroad worker for the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific railroads. Under the influence of Bishop Worthington of Nebraska, he abandoned his native Presbyterianism and began to read for the Episcopal ministry in whatever hours he could snatch from his regular employment. He was ordained deacon in 1889 and priest in 1890, working mostly as an itinerant missionary in five western states. Brady estimated that in just three years he logged more than 90,000 miles “preaching or delivering addresses … marrying, baptizing, and doing all the other endless work of an itinerant missionary” ( ...

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Bragg, George Freeman, Jr. (25 January 1863–12 March 1940), Episcopal clergyman, was born in Warrenton, North Carolina, the son of George Freeman Bragg and Mary (maiden name unknown). He was two years old when the family moved to Petersburg, Virginia, where he studied at the elementary school and at St. Stephen’s Parish and Normal School. His family helped found St. Stephen’s Church for Negroes in 1867. At age six he was employed as a valet by John Hampden Chamberlayne, editor of the ...

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Breck, James Lloyd (27 June 1818–30 March 1876), Episcopal missionary, was born in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, the son of George Breck and Catharine D. Israell. Senator James Lloyd of Massachusetts, who was married to Breck’s paternal aunt, financed his education at the Flushing (N.Y.) Institute and at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation in 1838, Breck prepared for the ordained ministry of the Episcopal church at the General Theological Seminary in New York City. A sermon on the need for frontier clergy preached there by Bishop ...

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Brent, Charles Henry (09 April 1862–27 March 1929), bishop and Christian ecumenist, was born in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada, the son of Rev. Henry Brent, rector of the local Anglican parish, and Frances Sophia Cummings. His mother filled the rectory with music and many books and was a close companion of her ten children. Although Brent’s father was nearly twenty years older than his wife, he, too, shared fully in the children’s affections and interests....

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Brooks, Phillips (13 December 1835–23 January 1893), preacher and Episcopal bishop of Massachusetts, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of William Gray Brooks, a successful businessman, and Mary Ann Phillips. Brooks’s parents were of the New England aristocracy and keenly interested in the education of their six sons. Members of Mary Brooks’s family had founded Phillips Academy, Andover (1778); Phillips Exeter Academy (1781); and the conservative, Congregationalist Andover Theological Seminary (1805). Brooks and his brothers went to the Boston Latin School and to Harvard College, where they excelled. Phillips entered Harvard in 1851 and received his A.B. in 1855. Because he was an accomplished linguist, Brooks was then hired to teach Latin at the Boston Latin School, but he was unable to keep discipline in his class, and he was asked to hand in his resignation. It was a disastrous experience, a failure that left him deeply depressed....

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Brownell, Thomas Church (19 October 1779–13 January 1865), Episcopal bishop and college president, was born in Westport, Massachusetts, the son of Sylvester Brownell and Nancy Church, farmers. After studying at Bristol Academy in Taunton, Massachusetts, he entered the College of Rhode Island at Providence (now Brown University) in 1800. In 1802 the president of the college, ...

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Capers, Ellison (14 October 1837–22 April 1908), Confederate soldier and Episcopal clergyman, was born in Charleston, South Carolina, the son of William Capers, a Methodist bishop, and Susan McGill. After attending the private schools of his native city, he was graduated in 1857 from the South Carolina Military Academy. He taught mathematics at his alma mater and for a year was on the staff of a college in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Early in 1859 he married Charlotte Palmer; they had nine children....

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Philander Chase. Daguerreotype from the studio of Mathew B. Brady. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-109898).

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Chase, Philander (14 December 1775–20 September 1852), Episcopal bishop, was born in Cornish, New Hampshire, the son of farmer and town founder Dudley Chase and Allace Corbett. During his student days at Dartmouth College, at a time of religious ferment, Chase was stirred by the Book of Common Prayer and convinced by the arguments put forth in the tract ...

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Cheney, Charles Edward (20 February 1836–15 November 1916), Episcopal clergyman and bishop of the Reformed Episcopal church, was born in Canandaigua, New York, the son of E. Warren Cheney, a physician, and Altie Wheeler Chipman. After graduating from Hobart College in 1857, having decided to enter the priesthood of the Episcopal church, Cheney attended Virginia Theological Seminary at Alexandria, Virginia, graduating in 1859. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal church by Bishop William Heathcote Delancey on 21 November 1858 and was ordained priest by Delancey on 4 March 1860. In between Cheney served as assistant rector of St. Luke’s Church, Rochester, New York, and then minister-in-charge of St. Paul’s Church, Havana, New York. He left New York in the spring of 1860 to become rector of the newly organized parish of Christ Church, Chicago, conducting his first service there a week after his ordination to the priesthood. Cheney married Clara Emma Griswold only a few weeks after arriving in Chicago. Clara Griswold Cheney was an indispensable partner to Cheney in editing church and denominational publications until her death in 1911....

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Clark, Thomas March (04 July 1812–07 September 1903), Episcopal bishop, was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas March Clark, a shipper, and his second wife, Rebecca Wheelwright. Both the Clark and Wheelwright families were committed Presbyterians, and Clark was raised “in the straitest fold of the Presbyterian Church” ( ...

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Cobbs, Nicholas Hamner (05 February 1796–11 January 1861), Episcopal bishop, was born in Bedford County, Virginia, the son of John Lewis Cobbs and Susan Hamner, farmers. His father, who was hostile to religion, has been described as “an infidel of the Jeffersonian type” (White, p. 18), but his mother was a devout Episcopalian and carried her infant son on horseback for sixty or seventy miles from Bedford to Albemarle so that he could be baptized by an Episcopal priest. Because there was no parish in the vicinity of his home, young Cobbs participated only once in the public worship of the Episcopal church before the day of his ordination to the diaconate. The school of Bedford County, known as the Old Field School, provided Cobbs with his only formal education, and he began teaching there in 1813. In 1821 he married his fifteen-year-old first cousin, Lucy Landonia Cobbs; they had ten children, two of whom became priests in the Episcopal church....

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Coit, Henry Augustus (20 January 1830–05 February 1895), clergyman and educator, was born in Wilmington, Delaware, the son of Joseph Howland Coit, a priest of the Episcopal church, and Harriet Jane Hard. He spent most of his childhood in Plattsburgh, New York, where his father was rector of Trinity Church. He attended ...

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Colton, Calvin (14 September 1789–13 March 1857), clergyman and author, was born in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, the son of Major Luther Colton, a veteran of the American Revolution, and Thankful Woolworth. Educated at Monson Academy, Yale College, and Andover Theological Seminary, Colton was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1816 and served as pastor of churches in Le Roy and Batavia, in western New York’s Burned-Over District, a region profoundly affected by the religious revivalism of the Second Great Awakening. In 1826, bereaved by the untimely death of his wife, Abby North Raymond, and troubled by a persistent throat infection that made preaching difficult, Colton abandoned the pulpit. Soon thereafter he undertook an extensive trip through the frontier regions of the Midwest. His travels led to the publication of ...

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Coxe, Arthur Cleveland (10 May 1818–20 July 1896), Episcopal bishop and leader of the Anglo-Catholic movement, was born in Mendham, New Jersey, the son of Samuel Hanson Cox, a Presbyterian minister, and Lucy Todd. As a youth Cox moved to New York City. There he lived in the home of his uncle, Dr. Abraham Cox, a prominent New York physician and Episcopalian who led his nephew into the Episcopal church in 1829. He subsequently changed his name to what he deemed to be an earlier, and English, spelling of his name—Coxe....